How America Broke the Speed Limit

Lowering speed limits and aggressive traffic enforcement by police patrols have not succeeded at erasing America's exceptionally high traffic death rate. The 1974-95 mandate for a national 55-mph limit coincided with a steep drop in highway deaths. But its repeal did not reverse the trend, with deaths hitting a 40-year low in 2014. Speed remains a factor in about a quarter of highway deaths, which remain high by world standards. Speed cameras and automated ticketing for violations have worked in their limited use, just as they have in broader use in Europe. But they remain politically unpopular in the U.S.

Related Stories